April 6, 2012

Today is National Tartan Day .

Honestly, I didn’t even realize there was such a thing until a couple years ago when a lady in the office came in regaled in her formal dress with her family tartan.

I guess someone talked someone in Congress into passing a resolution or some such to recognize the contributions of Scottish-Americans…sheep jokes, penny pinching jokes, ummm…. OOO!!!… Single Malt Whiskys!

So this year I decided to wear my tartan tie to celebrate the day. And, just because it is a Friday and most of the boss-types are out of the office, I decided to wear my work kilt.

Work Day? Work Kilt.

I’ve gotten many comments, most “What the hell are you dressed up for?”, with a few compliments (I’ve been told I have nice legs).

In explaining why I was dressed as I was, I occasionally got the standard question: “What is worn under your kilt?”

To this, I give one of my standard responses – –

Answer #1 – Nothing is worn. It is all in perfect working condition!
Answer #2 – Two shades of lipstick…so far.

Even more fun were a couple conversations with some female coworkers.

First came our office finance person – –

Finance Lady: Ooo, that is a good look for you…where’s your bagpipe.

She immediately knew that she had offered up a wonderful double entendre and skulked away, avoiding my gaze whilst my officemates are rolling on the floor laughing.

Later in the afternoon, a co-worker, M, stopped by the water cooler next to my cubicle and peeked in my office. She asked a few questions about the kilt, then commented – –

M: Well, you’re not sitting very lady-like there.

GnuKid: Well, I’m clearly not a lady.

M changed the subject as she saw my sporran [Scottish man purse] she liked and pointed at it…waist level, yet the other people in the office can only see her pointing downward at me and having her last comment in their minds, hear:  Oh, I see…very nice!

Didn’t even get a chance to blink as my officemates once again burst into inappropriate laughter.

I stopped by her desk a bit later to bug her a bit more. She started to say something. Rethought it. Started again. Rethought it. And finally admitted that there was nothing she could say that wouldn’t be taken in the wrong way.

And all the while? She was staring at my sporran.

M: I want to, but can’t even say, “I can’t stop looking at it!”


Feeling the least I could do was acknowledge her kind words, I offered a hearty “thank you”…much more for the benefit of those howling hyenas around me than anything else…as she wandered away with her face growing more crimson by the moment.

It is a bit cold-ish to be wearing this at this time of year, but I’m having a blast. And very looking forward to this year’s Celtic Festival where I can wear it for three straight days.

And, who knows? I may just have to show up at work randomly dressed like this. Or wear it on the bike ride tonight…


Doodles #14

February 23, 2012

This next installment of my random-doodles-from-a-boring-training-class was based on a story about a gun fight between two groups of belligerents*.

From the little I was actually paying attention to the discussion, apparently the engagement involved use of hand held weapons alone.

When the speaker said the following words, this is what my mind pictured – –

a problem with definitions of 'arms'?

*belligerents: n. people who hate someone else’s fucking guts and wants to cease their life with great prejudice.

What she MEANT to say—

February 16, 2012

Got a twofer coupon offer in my e-mail box.

Horseback lessons.


Ever since I was a kid and was thrown by a (seemingly at the time) huge horse my cousin owned, I’ve been waiting to accomplish the proverbial, “Get back on the horse.”

Also, since I have very few things I’m doing* and need yet another diversion activity, I wrangled Dear Friend into going with me.**

It.  Was.  Magic.

…and has become a pretty standard weekly activity for the two of us.***

Every lesson, I get to ride “My” horse—Izzy.    She has a mind of her own, so it’s always a battle of wills.****

One of my favorite things about Izzy is that she belches and farts at the same time.  Noisily.  Such a lady.  But, I often get blamed.

I’ve gone from being tentative (remembering that fall I took as a kid) to sort of competent in ‘driving’ my horse in a walk and trot.

It’s been great fun, though there was one moment of panic when a trot turned into an uncommanded canter (sort of like third gear for horses).  Izzy just got excited that other horses around her were cantering, so joined in.  I grabbed onto the saddle to keep from falling off and looked frantically to the instructor.  The instructor gave a little laugh and nonchalantly asked, “Going somewhere, GnuKid?”  Shit.  Guess I have to handle this myself.  Was able to get Izzy under control and release my severely clenched butt muscles from the saddle.*****

Not me (found here), but this is how it felt

It was only afterwards that I learned that, if you fall off a horse, you have to buy ice cream for anyone witnessing it (which, effectively, is the entire class).  I’m guessing the class was cheering for Izzy on that ride.

But I will continue to get back on that proverbial horse.  And learn to command that canter.  Oh, and I’ll be sure to wear a helmet…

A fun aside:  Recently, our instructor—a sweet, petite woman who has a pure heart and innocent spirit—informed us she and her family were going on vacation.  She was back yakking about the trip with Dear Friend and I was half listening while getting Izzy ready for the lesson when I heard:

“Yes, my husband is an anal packer.”


I was just about to open my mouth to comment when Dear Friend gave me ‘that look’, meaning, “If you say anything to embarrass this sweet lady, I will kill you.”

“Anal Packer” – – <silent chuckling>


*well, other than scuba diving, skiing, motorcycle riding, flying, bicycling, drinking…

**’wrangling’ roughly equated to her running over me, climbing in the car, and hollering, “Let’s go!  We’re late!”

***…or even one of us, if the other is out and about doing someonething else.

****yes, I just admitted that a horse is giving me a run for my money, intellectually speaking.

*****I’m still picking bits of leather out of there.

Doodle #32

February 11, 2012

Once again a foray into my artistic side (said the guy who was lucky to get “C” grades in art).

A long while back, my company sent me off for some long term training to make me a better company man.  The course was all over the place — sometimes very challenging and sometimes too easy.  It was during these ‘easy’ lectures that I’d let my mind wander some.  So, occasionally, the lecturer would say something…a phrase or key word…that would just send my brain off to a strange place.  It was at these times that I felt I had to try and capture that strange place.

This is another one of those wander off pictures.  The lecturer was talking about the impact religion has on many of our customs and practices – – –

...and, yeah, i felt i had to tag my pictures so people would understand

Honestly, I do sort of wish I had a better flair with expressing what’s in my mind (it looks MUCH better there), but I get a kick out of this stuff nonetheless.

Drop Trou

February 2, 2012

It’s time once again for my annual prostate exam.

Being “mumblety-five”, I am required to submit myself (phrasing of that written on purpose) to check the tenderness and size of my prostate gland, which is up the butt a couple inches.  This exam is the first line of defense in checking for prostate cancer.

Besides being the big “C” word, which has potentially lethal results, this form of cancer can also cause sexual dysfunction.  Therefore, being in no hurry to (a) die, (b) stop having sex, (c) there is no ‘c’, and (d) all of the above, I gladly submit to this invasive and a tad humiliating examination*.

Unfortunately, I no longer have the petite and cute doc from the last exam I posted about.  Rather, this is a big, burly doc with calloused hands and dirt under his nails.  Even better?  He was being shadowed by a resident who was watching with great interest.  The doc asked routine questions about my health, focusing on key warning symptoms for prostate issues.

Then, with scientific detachment – – “Okay, drop your trousers and bend over the exam table.”

ramming speed!


A preparatory shot of whisky?  A manly wink with a ‘three-pat’ on the shoulder?  Flowers?

Nope, none of that.  Just his “drop trou'” while the latex glove goes on with an ominous ~snap~.  And then the lube tube is (thank god, generously) accessed.  Finally, without a howdy do or a “deep breath and brace”, he dug right in.  Yes, with the resident still watching (hey, at least he didn’t ask for a turn).

Feeling around in my butt for all of 10 seconds (seeming to be 10 minutes), Doc finally said, “That feels fine.”

In a sudden OCD-like rush of concern for my health, I reiterated redundantly, “So it felt good?”

A wry look and a rebuke from the doc, “We never say ‘it feels good’ when doing a rectal exam.”

Point taken.

So, until next year.

…at which time I will bring my own whisky…


*And, yes, a tip of the hat to my female readers who scoff, deservedly, at us guys waiting until our 40s to regularly have this exam whilst you have been having docs poke around your lady parts…sometimes with heavy machinery…since you hit puberty.  So, guys?  Shut up and take it like a man.  And annually at that!

Sometimes It Rains

January 25, 2012

No kids.  No pets.  No spousal unit.

An invite from Ms. X to go off on an adventure.

A timely coincidence of an e-mail advertising last-minute cruise prices to the Bahamas which were amazingly low.

Sounds like a ‘yes’ to me.

Ms. X was tired of the weather.  Tired of the annoying flapping of gums of her co-workers.  Tired of drama of family and acquaintances.  She needed an escape, but didn’t want to go alone.  Knowing I was prone to scooter off for an adventure or seven, she asked if I wanted to go.  She’s cute, spunky, fun.  Of course I want to go.  A few well spent airline miles and we were on our way to warm weather and sunny skies.

Well, supposedly sunny.

A three day cruise, with a one day stopover in the Bahamas.  I thought it was always sunny in the Bahamas.

We thought we had our ‘bad travel karma’ used up when she forgot her passport on her way to pick me up to go to the airport.  Luckily, since she’s a nervous (some would say “cautious”) traveler, she’d arrived at my place 10 minutes early.  Being a tad nervous…whoops…”cautious” myself, I’d already padded the schedule by 20 minutes.  Plenty of time to rush back to her place, pick up the passport, and still hit the airport well in time to catch our flight.  We thought the rest of trip had to go well since we had our bump ready.

And, mostly, it did.

On board, there was too much food, expensive drinks, cheesy entertainment, and some damn good entertainment.

In the Bahamas?  The cruise ship arrived as we slept.  We woke to blue skies and ate breakfast on the fantail.  We went to the cabin to change and, coming back out, were met by gray skies.

Gray skies...smiling at me...

Still, it was warm.  We were in a beautiful, tropic country.  It didn’t look like rain [cue ominous music], so we rented a motor scooter to tour the island (“Drive on the left, mon.”).

Half an hour in?  Rain.  Lots of it.  We got soaked, but were laughing and having a great time.  The rain tapered, so we kept going to the opposite side of the island.  Stopping to look at the view, it started raining again.  so, we got back on the scooter to return.

I turned the key.  Silence.  I kicked the kick start.  Silence.  I bitched.  Loudly.   Then laughed.  Loudly.  It had reached the absurd, so there was nothing to do but laugh at the situation.

Called the scooter company who sent a replacement scooter.

Headed back to town with dampened clothes, but not dampened spirits. A few drinks in town, people watching, and wandering to see the sights.

Sound advice

Next day, the ship wandered the Caribbean and Ms. X and I wandered the decks.  There was a two hour window in the afternoon of wonderful sun, warm temperatures, and tropical breezes.  There was more entertainment that evening.  And more drinking and eating.

And back to the dock in the US of A the next morning, with no-issue flights home to cold and foggy weather.

A wonderful time, even with weather woes, just because I said “yes” to adventure.

I’m liking these “yes” opportunities.  I’m open to more in my future.


Just Because

November 25, 2011

"Okay, you...and you...and you..."